So there is still much chirping going on (instigated by me) here at SUS almost 2 full days after the Giants 21-14 wins over the Steelers. The Giants won a physical and yes ugly (that’s for you BH) game. I will even admit that the Giants were greatly aided by a very fortunate and equally horrid long snap that sailed all the way past the back of the Steelers' end zone and resulted in a safety. However, what everything leading up to this game and its aftermath has taught me is, there needs to be a new rulebook written on friendship etiquette regarding a game between their favorite football teams. Due to my own short attention span and those of the typical American sports fan, I will keep it somewhat short. Here goes nothing….
1) (1) Do not watch this game with your friend(s) - Thankfully I did decide against doing this. My friend Iowa sent an email to myself, BH, Mahatma and Devo inviting all of us to watch this game together. I found this invite harmless though probably unlikely to be successful, while Devo and Mahatma were quit perturbed by this gesture. However, to paraphrase the awesome but hardly inspiring Nancy Pelosi, “Devo and Mahatma were right and Whiteboy South Bronx was wrong.” Seriously, this would have been a disaster. I threw my hat down twice in anger during the game and then, after the game finished I performed a “leap up after the touchdown” high five with Devo. This would not have gone over well if all 5 of us were watching this game together. I wanted to Kill Mahatma and Iowa each time the Steelers scored and they probably hated me after Big Ben’s final pick of the day landed into the waiting arms of Kenny “late hit” Phillips. Good call Devo and Mahatma and bad call by me.
(2) Allow at least a 48 hour period of no communication between yourself and your friend if at all possible- Obviously this does not work if you live with your friend. However, what I have learned as recently as 12 hours ago is that any innocuous comment made by yourself will be interpreted as personal and/or mean spirited by your friend during the 36-48 hour period following said game. This period should be doubled if this is a playoff game and tripled if it is the Superbowl.
(3) Don’t have your cake and eat it too- if you are going to both (1) downplay the significance of this game to your friend and/or (2) predict that your team is going to get smoked, you cannot then brag about your team’s victory shortly thereafter. This allows you to claim solace and victory either way. If your team wins, you can say, “it's still my team so I can brag even though I thought we’d lose” and if your team loses you can just say “see I told you so.” So if you pick your team to win, then you can brag after 48 hours to your friend but if you pick your team to lose, you maintain no bragging rights.
(4) Don’t write a serious preview article- Chances are you will either drastically overrate or underrate your team’s chances on Sunday. Mahatma and I both predicted that our opponent would beat our favorite team by at least 10 points. However, the spread of 2 should have alerted both of us to the fact that this would be a close and exciting game. As good as Mahatma’s analysis was and it was excellent, and as sincere as my prediction was, we both had trouble separating our pessimistic diehard fandom from our “duty” to make logical predictions. However, at least Mahatma had good matchup analysis, what was my excuse? Oh right, as you will all soon see, I am a huge douchebag.
(5) Don’t pretend to take the high road and then lapse into sports fan arrogance- I, unlike a friend of mine whose identity I won’t reveal Devo, refused to start a Steelers suck chant because (1) they don’t suck (2) I have nothing against them and (3) I have two good friends who root for Pittsburgh. However, in spite of this and refusing to even mention the game in any way till Tuesday; I could no longer contain myself. Tuesday morning BH gave me an opening. He said a SUS email thread I started confused him so I of course responded, as any self-respecting Giant fan with Steeler fan friends would, “My bad, I bet you are all as confused as B-Roth was after each of his 4 picks”. Okay, so that BH comment was not really any kind of invitation to make fun of B-Roth or the Steelers. I don’t know if I regret my 36 hours after the game insult or whether I regret ever taking the high road in the first place. Either way, I wish I was consistent and stayed on message like Obama and did not veer off message like Palin.